BUSINESSMEN are giving youngsters the chance to stay off the streets after opening an indoor skatepark.
Dexx North East is giving skateboard, scooter and BMX bike enthusiasts the chance to practice adrenaline-fulled wheelies and tricks under one roof, all year round.
The dirt and wood indoor 25,876 sq ft skate park, based in Woodbine Terrace – behind Matalan, on Pallion Retail Park – has already attracted 1,351 likes on Facebook since it opened its doors earlier this month.
Owner Derek Milligan, who started the business with Rob McKeith, said the response to the venue, which caters for beginners to professionals, has been overwhelming.
“It’s over-exceeded what we could have ever imagined,” he said. “It’s taken us by surprise. People have said it’s excellent.
“We expected to have about 500 people in a week when it was completed and open properly, but we’ve had about 900 in since we opened, which is fantastic.”
The skate park’s indoor facilities – which includes hire shop and graffiti studio – are already open but are not expected to be fully finished until the end of this month.
Derek, who works in commercial debt recovery, and Rob, a designer, also plan to build an outdoor skate park outside, and are appealing for businesses to donate rubble to build up the outdoor ramps.
“We could really do with moving that forward,” said Derek. “We would appreciate any businesses who could give us hard-core rubble.
“We’ve got 1.3 acres which we have got to fill outside.”
Derek said the skatepark has attracted interest from local community groups, and the police for helping to keep youngsters off the city streets.
“The police said they like what they have seen,” said Derek. “They have been handing out leaflets for us.
“We are approachable and friendly and it seems to work.
“A number of days that we have been open, people have been in all day, and they are off the streets.
“What else is there for kids to do? At least this way they are inside, in a safe environment.”
l If anyone can donate rubble to the business, or offer other services, contact Derek on 07885 911 141 or 714 9988.
l Dexx North East memberships cost £15 for the year and each two-hour session is £6 after that.